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All Or Nothing For Rovers Now

Following Blackburn Rovers' 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa at Ewood Park on Saturday hopes of European qualification via the Premiership all but ended. It now comes down to potentially one game save our season!

A season that started in typical fashion saw us languishing in the lower reaches of the table for the opening months of the campaign, but we are used to this aren't we, this is the norm for Blackburn Rovers! A steady, at times rapid increase in form and results saw us rise up the table, moving more than into contention for a European finish.

However, in recent weeks, rightly or wrongly our focus seems to have shifted elsewhere (the FA Cup Semi Final) and three successive Premiership defeats, despite leading in all three has seen any hope of a top seven, let alone top six finish virtually disintegrate. Mark Hughes acknowledges as much, when asked if we could make it into Europe via the Premiership he said:

"I think it will be very difficult and unrealistic to think we can do it through our league position.

"We could still go on from this point and win every game, but I would suggest that's not likely to happen."

The UEFA Cup offered so much for so long and I genuinely felt we could go on and win it. An agonising departure seems to have knocked something out of us, so after pushing hard on that front and bringing ourselves right back into contention via the League, what promised to be another season of the highest order is threatening to spiral into nothingness, ultimately ending as a disappointing one.

Never fear though, we still have the FA Cup to play for, but our season virtually hangs on the outcome of one game now, well the results of two! We simply HAVE to beat Chelsea on Sunday. Obtaining victory over Chelsea is not only important for the obvious reasons that we will then play in the FA Cup Final, our first FA Cup Final for getting on for 50-years, but because this could (providing Manchester United overcome Watford, which with all due respect they should) assure us of a place in Europe next season whatever the outcome.

Finishing the season as runners up in the FA Cup would be heartbreaking but should this be as runners up to Manchester United we will at least know we have the saving grace of European football again for the 2007-2008 season, something that is ESSENTIAL to the club's future building. We simply HAVE to be in Europe again next season.

Failure to obtain a European place will not only see this season ultimately viewed as a failure but may also potentially prove the difference between keeping our top players or not? The likes of David Bentley, Benni McCarthy and Morten Gamst Pedersen may all be tied to contracts, most of whom only recently signed new ones, but the lure of European football from others could prove to strong, so if we miss out on this we may well miss out on far, far more with key players maybe thinking it is time for them to move on.

The players failed to deliver big time on Saturday against Villa, as they have on the whole in recent weeks. The FA Cup has been the prize too many have had their eye on, it is now up to them to ensure that they grab this prize on Sunday, it is now all or nothing for Rovers…


Don't forget "Walkerbout" Sunday Evening in the forum between 6pm & 8pm. There will be no Walkerbout this week (Sunday 15th April) due to the FA Cup Semi Final BUT it will return on Sunday 22nd April). For more information on Walkerbout click here.

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The Journalist

Writer: Walker Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday April 10 2007

Time: 12:20AM

Your Comments

It is all or nothing. We'll go in as outsiders but a one off game who knows, but if we don't have confidence we can win we won't. I know they say League form counts for nothing but had we beaten Villa at the weekend we would have gone in with confidence, as it is we go in off the back of three straight defeats!!! Nearer the time I'll feel more confident I'm sure but at the moment I'm 50:50.
Hughes Da Man
Not sure myself HDM, as you say it's all down to confidence, ive been awful at predictions lately, so i'll go 60-40 for them, OK!
weeman john
sadly, i fear it will be nothing despite a great season!
merlin
If the guys can't be up for such a MASSIVE game they never will, but being up for it isn't enough alone. If it proves to be nothing merlin, despite many high points it will ultimately prove disappointing if we miss out on Europe as this is VITAL for us.
Hughes Da Man
To get into Europe ur rite its is all or nothing against a Chelsea team with the chance to win 4 trophies very close, we will need to be rite up for this game, treat it like the final itself!! However Rovers have a great chance as any team can be beat on any given day. Confidence will be low with Rovers taking the lead and losing the last 2 ganes, Utd u may expect but Villa, My God they have been shocking the 2nd half of the season and should've been beat at Ewood, it was a bad loss
Clint
We've taken the lead and lost our last THREE haven't we Clint. It's a one off game that we CAN win, let's just hope we turn up. In a way we can play with nothing to lose as we aren't expected to win but we have EVERYTHING to lose in my opinion. If we don't make the UEFA Cup next season I fear for the fall out.
Hughes Da Man
is it 3, its stupid and just not good enough, I dont think not qualifying for Europe for the one season would hurt us that much, I think players of a good qualtiy will still come for Hughes, his name is a lure in itself. I do think that going in a complete underdogs against them will be good, if they arent expected to win they can just play football. Samba will do well against Drogba, just have to keep the fool from falling around and conning the ref as usual. I just hope Chelsea take the lead then on Sunday, then it will be our turn to come back to win lol
Clint
Let's hope it works like that. If we take an early lead I HOPE we don't try to sit on it too long. May sound stupid but maybe going behind wouldn't be as bad as it sounds?!?! we would have to get at them, and if we put them under sustained pressure I think we could make them crack, it would just be a case of beating the exceptional Petr Cech in goal!
Hughes Da Man
Chelsea can be beat, every team has a weakness. its up to Rovers midfield to get in amongst them and stop Drogba getting his head up, hes big and quick but not the most skillful, kinda like wot Heskey could have been, but falls down a lot and gurns to the ref over every little thing, though I do think this is common among the teams that tend to think they should win everything anyway or it could just be wot Jose has instilled into them, who knows?!?!
Clint
 

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